In short: Lacked atmosphere and facilities In full: Lovely course which was made challenging due to cold, rainy weather leaving me to wade through ankle deep muddy water on several occasions. Throw in multiple, slippery cattle grids with no few marshalled at the gates to further slow the runner down. Seemed the organisers were trying to hold this event on a shoestring. The start was a non-event and it was unfair to runners to have no toilet facilities at the start - the closest were a 20 minute walk back to the car park. The finish (which my Garmin showed as 26.43 miles from the start) had the final 150 m or so across a sodden grassy area - so cruel on very tired legs and feet. I then spent all of 2 seconds picking up a "goody" bag in a tent before being left to fend for myself. The organisers really should have saved the money on the cheap vest t-shirt and printing a paper certificate and have provided foil blankets and hot drinks - I was fortunate I had some supporters there and was in a local hotel (thanks Normanton Park for the late check out). I am sure the experience would have been much nicer in good weather, but it is how events are run in bad weather that makes the difference. Well done to the cadets who were marshalling around the course - the organisers could learn a lot from your enthusiasm. Sad to say I won't be back. Date of review: November 5, 2012
In short: Uninspiring organisation failed to dispel my coldness and wetness! In full: Now I realise a lot's been said about medals and certificates and vests before, but since it said on the Fat Feet website that the only memento was either a technical tee or vest, and I was asked for my size, I at least assumed they'd get that right. And, at £35 a pop, I'd have expected a bit more than just a bit of cardboard and a couple of gels/bar.
I had a hard enough race as it was, the wheels fell off nearish the end, (my fault entirely for not covering up earlier), but the pretty anonymous set-up at the finish line, with a few largely silent spectators watching me stagger in and get my vest and card, pretty much took the shine off something I've been training for, for a long time. The vest is too small as well, and has nothing on it identifying that it's specific to this race. Which leads me to suspect it's part of a job lot being used across other races. I hope I'm wrong. I might just find out how much Anglian Water charged Fat Feet to use the reservoir - it might give us some insight into income versus expenditure. I will definitely think twice about running this one again. By contrast, my first marathon was the South Downs last year. Yes, they fecked up the promised "technical Salomon t-shirt" and replaced it with a fruit of the loom shirt better suited to washing cars with, but a) there was a medal, b) there was a big fanfare finish line with stalls and hot food, and c) they actually looked happy to see you. 209 Events is the company if anyone's interested - and no, I have no interest in publicising them. Date of review: November 4, 2012
In short: Disappointing In full: Having run this one in 2010 I was looking forward to today's run in this scenic setting but I was disappointed. Aside from the freezing weather which clearly can't be controlled, the organisation and value for money (which can be completely controlled) really let this run down. An expensive entry fee with an additional parking fee on top for seemingly very little in return - just cups of water and a few SIS gels out on the course, no-one to greet you back at the finish line, pick up your own goodybag with no choice of sizing for the shirt, no medal just a blank certificate and an energy bar and gel. You could afford to customise the tiny plastic goody bag which is in the bin as too small to be reused for anything but not provide a medal or race specific shirt. I appreciate there wasn't a mention of a medal on the entry form but at 35GBP - surely a decent medal or correctly sized race specific tech shirt isn't too much to expect. Why bother asking what size shirt on the entry form if you're not given any choice on the day!?
A real shame as this could be a super marathon.
To finish on a positive note - full credit to the cadets who were out marshalling the course - full of enthusiastic support even near the end of the course. I hope their effort is appreciated and acknowledged by Fat Feet. Date of review: November 4, 2012
In short: Thought after last it would be better........no way In full: Interesting course and cadets were fantastic. No toilets at start or during run. Mile markers only every 3 miles. Facilities at finish very sparce infact none. Goody bag a waste of time, no medal only a certificate, an undersized vest, 2 auful gels and 1 energy bar. I gave them a second chance and they made it worse. Date of review: November 4, 2012
In short: Shockingly bad organisation In full: I've run this race before, loved it, hence the reason for coming back. Wish I hadn't bothered. First things first, the weather was atrocious! But that was great compared to the organisation! No toilets open at the North carpark. No toilets at the start. Everyone urinating next to trees. This is not acceptable and then only the odd portaloo out on the peninsula. The Army Cadets were great, out in the rain, cheering us on and providing drinks. The finish was a joke. Bearing in mind it was raining and barely above freezing there was no-one giving out space blankets or hot drinks, which I think was the least that they could do. I don't go for the goodie bag, which was just as well as it was poor at best. We had to beg the St John's ambulance for a space blanket and then wait in the freezing rain for the bus to arrive. £35 for all this is beyond a joke. I will not be running this again and if this is how Fat-Feet organise their events I won't be in a hurry to do any of their other races! Date of review: November 4, 2012
In short: You can't control the weather but you can make allowancves for it In full: Rutland Water is a lovely location and as always us runners created a good atmosphere. However, from start to finish it felt like this event was run on a shoestring. The weather was appauling, this is clearly not the fault of the organisers. BUT it was forecast and there was no provision at all. A small tent at the end to collect goodie bags. Then you were left to sort yourself out the weather was forecast and a minimum requirement was space blankets to help the runners. Better still a marquee with a tea or coffee and somewhere to change. But I guess this would have eaten into profits too much! We were left changing in the toilets with no seats which was no easy task. In summary, it felt like the organisers crossed their fingers and hoped the bad weather wouldn't come...it did. I would love to do this on a nice day but would think long and hard as this is England and November Date of review: November 4, 2012
In short: Pleasant enough route with friendly marshalls but VERY poor value for money In full: First time running this race and I was fairly disappointed. I don't normally review races but I hope the organisers look at these reviews for runners next year.
Pros: 1) Course is nice enough (not so good in the horrible, cold weather of today) with good off road sections. 2) Marshalls were good and very kind to stand out all day in that weather. 3) Support was sparse (as expected) but almost everyone I did pass was very friendly and encouraging.
Cons: 1) As I said, this race is, in no way worth £35. The technical running vest doesn't even have the race name on it (well, mine doesn't), a measly wee certificate which is blank and no medal. There wasn't even bottled water at the end, just plastic cups.
2) No official race photography. My husband couldn't join me at any points along the route so I basically have no photos of the day.
3) Having to pay for parking - goes hand in hand with point 1. They could have at least included that in the entrance fee.
4) The end was a bit uninspiring. Crossed the finish line, took a bag and then basically left. Ok, partly to do with the bad weather but even in the sunshine I don't think there would be much of an atmosphere.
5) Being from Scotland I'm used to hills so didn't find it too bad, but if you are from the east of England I don't think it would be an easy run. And in anycase I don't think it is a pb route.
I don't want to gripe too much as I think it was very kind of people to give up their day to support this race, and that is really appreciated. But my advice to the organisers would be to give out medals and proper memento vests, include car parking in the fee, give out lucozade/energy gels more at water stations and have some sort of photography en route. If you compare this to the Loch Ness marathon (which is about the same price) for value for money, Loch Ness wins hands down.
In short: That was a bit cold and soggy ! In full: Its the scenery that makes this race, and the cadets around the course were excellent. Ive done this a few times now but its less and less value for money. No medal this time, just a soggy cardboard certificate to fill in yourself, not a t shirt, but a poorish quality vest that mentions fat feet, but not the name of the race! No marshals opening gates at the sides of cattlegrids like there has been in previous years. I will be back, as the course is what this event is all about, but ldwa organise marathons for about seven quid a pop and i feel like ive been taken advantage of. Date of review: November 4, 2012
In short: Lovely route, too expensive with no medal a end In full: Shame some omissions this year- no medal- uninspiring finish- poor vest that I won't be wearing as too scratchy and weird shape- great water stations manned by enthusiastic cadets- hope they get a decent donation from Fat Feet- gels on route which is helpful thank you- but overall not value for money. Beautiful route on good running surfaces. Really needed space blanket at finish as rained all race and was 4 degrees- nothing appeared, much to my anguish- ended up asking first aiders through my chattering teeth. Overall, lovely race as lovely location - just needs some tweaks from the organisers! Probably see you next year! Date of review: November 4, 2012
In short: Could do much better, cutting too many corners... In full: Pros... 1) Very scenic run around Rutland Water and not many decent sized events at this time of year. 2) Very friendly cadets manning the aid stations. 3) Lots of great runners.
Cons 1) For a £35.00 marathon offered very poor value. No medal (got a blank certificate in the goody bag), no shirts that fitted at the end (only "S" left for the over 5 hours runners), only water at aid stations aside from two that had SIS gels. 2) Looooooooog walk to the start, if you had to visit the information tent and then go back to your car you were looking at a 3 mile walk! 3) Weather was awful and trails very muddy in places, not the organisers fault of course, but was just a grim day in the cold and rain. And just made worse at the totally anti-climatic finish, one poor chap in the tent handing out goody bags (i.e. 9-bar, gel, shirt that wouldn't fit and the blank certificate)...
Was a much better event when we did this in 2010 (medals and far more at aid stations)... won't be on my 2013 list and rather put me off their other events. Date of review: November 4, 2012